2008? Iraq? Health care?** ... Actually, you could you argue that there are almost always hidden constituencies ready to be uncovered--with new ones constantly forming like magma. That would be one reason why the national election industry is less stable than, say, the soft drink industry--and why presidential races won't always be grinding near-ties like the past two. What does seems unlikely is that any lopsided victory margin will persist for more than a cycle or two (e.g., Karl Rove's permanent Republican majority fantasy, the Judis-Teixeira emerging Dem majority fantasy). The losing party will adjust and get back in the game--faster than ever before, thanks in part to, yes, the Feiler Faster Thesis. ...
**--Note that most, maybe all, of these issues could conceivably produce a landslide either way. For example, you'd think a Democrat could steal the hidden pro-universal constituency in the GOP. But if a Republican with a plausible health care plan--say, Romney--somehow managed to get the GOP nomination, he might steal the "constituency" of Democrats who want to go left only on health care. ... 12:20 P.M.
J. Goldberg, so naive: Does this headline seem like an accidental blooper to you? ... 1:39 A.M.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Mickey's Assignment Desk: Fogeyism! Specifically, "Fogeyism" defined as the reaction of older reporters and pundits --print and online--against young bloggy commentators who have been empowered by new technology (and the politics it spawned), which gives them a voice and a following they would have enjoyed at their age in no other era. ... I have three examples, so it is a trend: 1) After New Republic's Spencer Ackerman "in a blog post ... referred to someone as a 'fool,' TNR ex-owner Marty Peretz wondering "'Where does a 15-year-old come off saying stuff like that?'" Ackerman was soon to be a TNR ex-writer; 2)Newsweek's Jon Alter bristling at the treatment he received from a "young reporter" posting on Radar (see below);" 3) Me ill-advisedly saying what I thought (at the time) about the youthful Ezra Klein. ...
Just because Fogeyish outbursts almost always look bad, damaging the Fogey more than the scorned young'un, doesn't mean they don't actually have some substantive basis. ... It did used to be that young journos went through a long apprenticeship before they reached a position from which they could address the masses on the great issues of the day. Now they have blogs in elementary school! That must have some consequences. Those consequences aren't all necessarily good! ... Were we better off in the 1960s, when the antiwar movement had to have leaders instead of bloggers? ... Where does Spencer Ackerman get off calling someone a "fool" anyway? ... Discuss! ... Assigned to: Someone of an age in between Fogey and Whippersnapper--say, Frank Foer! Or a Whippersnapper who's kind of Fogeyish (say, Matthew Yglesias). ... 12:46 P.M. link
I didn't think Thomas Edsall would without any irony declare that "David Broder is the voice of the people," as described in Radar. Comes now Jonathan Alter to say that it didn't happen and that Radar's Jebediah Reed is a "bad reporter." ... Moral: Don't slime the Kool Kidz! We will f--k you up! And I say that in a pleasantly arch tone. ...
Update:Radar management emails a link to Reed's response, under the subject line "Advantage: Whippersnappers." Reed stoutly maintains Edsall's Broder comment "was not said archly." Not so fast, punks! Mark Kleiman, a Fogey of the Left who knows Edsall and Edsall's sense of humor, is almost certainly right when he blogs:
I've known Edsall for close to 40 years. (I was still in high school when he covered a campaign I worked on: Parren Mitchell's first run for Congress.) He has the best dead-pan I've ever encountered. It's a normal conversational gambit (for him) to say something transparently absurd with a completely flat affect.
I bet Reed just missed Edsall's deadpan. Kleiman's interpretation jibes with dry-joke emails I've gotten from Edsall. Including some recent ones! ... P.S.: But wait. Reed claims to have a recording of the incident. "[I]f you doubt my account, you're welcome to pop by Radar HQ and listen to the exchange on tape." Why make anyone pop by? Reed could podcast it, and let the world judge. He could also contact Edsall on the record. Then, I suspect, he will discover he got his interpretation wrong in exactly the way a Whippersnapper who has no history with his subjects might easily get the intepretation wrong. Then he'll stop digging and go find a state where he's old enough to drink off the whole incident! (Hahaha. Is little joke I make. Arch, yes!) ... 12:29 P.M. link